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Matthew Jocelyn Named Artistic and General Director of Canadian Stage Company

Matthew Jocelyn, an internationally acclaimed theatre director and arts administrator, has been named Artistic and General Director of The Canadian Stage Company, the Board of Directors announced today.

"In Matthew, we have succeeded in recruiting a talented, internationally acclaimed director and artist who is seasoned, smart, creative, a tried and tested teacher and leader, and Canadian," said Maureen Parkinson, Chair of both the Board and the search committee that conducted a national and international search. "The new Artistic and General Director will have the benefit and support of the Board, a strong and experienced senior management team, and a wonderful staff."

Jocelyn, age 51, was born and raised in Toronto, and was named Chevalier des Art et des Lettres (Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters) by the French Ministry of Culture in July, 2008.

In Canada, he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree at Mt. Allison University in New Brunswick and a Master of Arts degree at Montreal's McGill University. He attended the Université d'Aix-en-Provence in France and Oxford University in England as a Rhodes Scholar. He was shaped by some of the leading forces in European and Asian theatre and dance. He studied with acclaimed Polish director Jerzy Grotowski, Japanese Butoh dance master Tanaka Min, and was assistant to renowned French director Patrice Chéreau and England's legendary Jonathan Miller.

His professional credits include: guest director at Canada's Stratford Shakespeare Festival where he received critical acclaim for the direction of Pierre Corneille's The Liar (Le menteur) in 2006; co-founding the Théâtre de l'Autre Rive, founding the Théâtre Des-Hérités and directing at the Atelier Chekhov in Paris; assisting in artistic coordination and directing at the Centre de Formation Lyrique of the Paris National Opera; creating and performing dance-theatre productions in France and Spain; developing and directing original plays, operas and translations in Canada, Switzerland, France, Germany and Brussels. He is an educator, who has held positions at the University of Toronto, the American University of Paris and the Université de Toulouse-le Mirail and more recently at the Conservatoire National Supérieure d'Art Dramatique in Paris.

In 1998, the French Minister of Culture appointed Jocelyn as the Artistic and General Director of the Atelier du Rhin, a regional drama centre in Colmar, France. Over a 10-year period, he put the Atelier du Rhin on the international map, establishing the organization as a major centre for theatre, opera and contemporary dance - the only multi-disciplinary artistic centre of its kind in France. It became highly regarded for the excellence of its productions, numerous artistic residencies, network of community and educational programs, and the state-of-the-art renovations transforming it into one of the best-equipped and most versatile theatres in France. His achievements included launching the Jeunes Voix du Rhin, an internationally recognized training centre which attracts performers and instructors from around the world; and establishing France's first policy of corporate sponsorship and partnership for artistic institutions. In addition to his administrative and financial roles, he directed a number of productions at the Atelier du Rhin and Jeunes voix du Rhin.

"I am honored to have the opportunity to lead The Canadian Stage Company, and once again make my home in Toronto and Canada," said Jocelyn. "My intent is to be accessible and open, to listen, as I establish a vision for the future of the Company."

"I will be relying on Marty and the Company staff, and meeting with the many talented artists who share my enthusiasm for this important performing arts institution as I come up to speed," he said.

"When Maureen told me of the Search Committee's selection for my replacement, I knew immediately that the Company would be handed over to someone with the intelligence and artistic vision required to build on the Company's legacy, and author its next chapters," said retiring Artistic Producer Martin Bragg. "I am sure you will be as thrilled as I was to learn Matthew is the new leader of The Canadian Stage Company."

"On behalf of the Board, our supporters and our audiences, I want to thank Marty Bragg for his extraordinary leadership over the last 17 years, and wish him the best for the future," said Board Chair Parkinson.

The transition plan allows for Jocelyn to spend considerable time with Bragg over the next six weeks being brought up to speed, and for Bragg to leave at the end of March. After fulfilling pre-existing commitments, Jocelyn will assume full-time responsibilities on June 15.

Nationally and internationally acclaimed, The Canadian Stage Company is Canada's leading not-for-profit contemporary theatre company. Founded in 1987 with the merger of CentreStage and Toronto Free Theatre, the Company is dedicated to producing international contemporary theatre and to developing and producing landmark Canadian works which have been awarded some of the country's most prestigious literary and performing arts honours, including the Governor General's, Chalmers and Dora Mavor Moore Awards. The Company presents the richest variety of Canadian and international plays and musicals - from edgy and provocative work at the Berkeley Street Theatre to productions with universal appeal at the Bluma Appel Theatre and a summer of Shakespeare at the CanStage TD Dream in High Park. Canadian Stage has a long-standing commitment to education and enhancement programs for the public, nurturing theatre professionals, and developing new Canadian plays, while producing thought-provoking theatre and quality entertainment in Toronto, one of North America's largest theatre centres.

For more information, refer to canstage.com.

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